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Natural Resources Tools


APEX has components for routing water, sediment, nutrients, and pesticides across complex landscapes and channel systems to the watershed outlet as well as groundwater and reservoir components.  A watershed can be subdivided as much as necessary to assure that each subarea is relatively homogeneous in terms of soil, land use, management, and weather.  APEX was constructed to evaluate various land management strategies considering sustainability, erosion (wind, sheet, and channel), economics, water supply and quality, soil quality, plant competition, weather, and pests. 

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California Avian Data Center

See current and future maps of bird species distributions, vegetation, or climate variables.

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Climate Change Tree Atlas and Bird Atlas

The Climate Change Atlases can be used to examine the current distribution of tree and bird habitats in the eastern United States, and how tree and bird distribution might change in response to different climate scenarios.

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Coastal Resilience Mapping Portal

Coastal Resilience supports a community of practitioners around the world who are applying spatial planning innovations to coastal hazard risk, resilience and adaptation issues. This is a global network providing access to peer practitioners, tools, information and training focused on nature-based solutions. 

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Evaluate potential carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reductions from adopting NRCS conservation practices NRCS Conservation Practices included in COMET-Planner are only those that have been identified as having greenhouse gas mitigation and/or carbon sequestration benefits on farms and ranches. This list of conservation practices is based on the qualitative greenhouse benefits ranking of practices prepared by NRCS.

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Conservation Client Gateway (USDA NRCS)

Conservation Client Gateway is a USDA public website that allows individual landowners and land users the secure ability to request conservation technical and financial assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Conservation Client Gateway provides users the alternative to work with NRCS via the Internet as a supplement to in-person support. All you need to get started is a USDA eAuthentication Level 2 account and a Service Center Information Management Systems (SCIMS) record linked to your eAuthentication account.

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CONUS (Soil Database for the Conterminous U.S.)

CONUS-SOIL is a multi-layer soil characteristics data set for the conterminous United States which has been specifically designed for regional and continental-scale climate, hydrology, and ecosystem modeling. CONUS-SOIL is based on the USDA State Soil Geographic Database (STATSGO) for application to a wide range of SVAT, climate, hydrology, and other environmental models.



The CQESTR model was developed to evaluate the effect of agricultural management practices on short- and long-term soil organic matter dynamics.


Crop Explorer

Crop Explorer provides access to imagery and modeled estimates of crop production, soil moisture, and weather for the US and globally.

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CropScape – Cropland Data Layer provides crop-specific land cover data layers created annually for the continental United States using moderate resolution satellite imagery and extensive agricultural ground truth.

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DAYMET (Daily Surface Weather and Climatological Summaries)

Daymet generates daily, gridded surfaces of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and radiation over large regions and takes into account areas of complex terrain.


DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition)

DNDC is a computer simulation model of carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry in agro-ecosystems. The model can be used for predicting crop growth, soil temperature and moisture regimes, soil carbon dynamics, nitrogen leaching, and emissions of trace gases including nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO), dinitrogen (N2), ammonia (NH3), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

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EPIC (The Environmental Policy Integrated Model)

EPIC predicts effects of management decisions on soil, water, nutrient and pesticide movements, and their combined impact on soil loss, water quality, and crop yields for areas with homogeneous soils and management.

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Fieldprint® Calculator-Field to Market

The Calculator is a free and confidential tool developed for corn, cotton, rice, wheat, potatoes and soybean growers. It allows growers to better understand and communicate how management choices affect overall sustainability performance and operational efficiency.

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FishXing - Fish Passage Learning Systems

The Fish Crossing software is designed to assist engineers, hydrologists and fish biologists in the evaluation and design of culverts for fish passage. It may be used as a component of a management approach to help fish species respond to climate changes.

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GEMS (General Ensemble Biogeochemical Modeling System)

GEMS accounts for the impacts of atmospheric and climatic changes (e.g., changes in precipitation and temperature, CO2 enrichment, nitrogen deposition), land use change (e.g., urbanization, forest logging, fire fuel treatment, biofuel crops, tillage, reforestation), natural disturbances and extreme events (land fire, insect outbreak, drought, flooding, hurricane) on ecosystem C balances and GHG emissions.

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NAIP (2013)

The National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) provides annual natural color aerial imagery during the agricultural growing seasons for the lower 48 states.

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National Agricultural Statistics Service Cropland Data Layer

The Cropland Data Layer (CDL) was created by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Research and Development Division, Geospatial Information Branch, Spatial Analysis Research Section. The most current data is available free for download along with extensive metadata, FAQs, and other detailed technical information. NASS developed both the CropScape and VegScape web services in cooperation with the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

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National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)

The NADP is a cooperative effort between many different groups, including federal, state, tribal and local governmental agencies, educational institutions, private companies, and non-governmental agencies, to monitor precipitation chemistry.

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National Land Cover Database

The National Land Cover Database products are created through a cooperative project conducted by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium. NLCD 2006 is designed to provide the user both updated land cover data and additional information that can be used to identify the pattern, nature, and magnitude of changes occurring between 2001 and 2006 for the conterminous United States at medium spatial resolution.

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National Resources Inventory (NRI)

A statistical survey of land use and natural resource conditions and trends on U.S. non-Federal lands.

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National Water and Climate Center (NRCS)

A map system linking to NRCS monitoring station data. Includes data on snow, precipitation, soil, reservoir storage, and streamflow.

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National Water Information Systems

National Water Information Systems (NWIS) provides information about water quantity and quality collected at over 1.5 million sites around the U.S. As a long-term database and information delivery system, NWIS provides continual access to data collected over the last 100+ years, as well as real-time data on streamflow.

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Nitrogen Index

The Nitrogen Index tool is designed to help nutrient managers quickly assess N loss risk related to agricultural N management. The tool is fully multilingual with versions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and supports English or Metric units. New features include assessment of N2O emissions, a simple Tier Zero Index, ability to generate graphs and export results to Excel, and includes indices for Malawi, Africa and Brazil.

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Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package (NLEAP) GIS 4.2 with Nutrient Tracking Tool

The Excel-based advanced Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package with GIS capabilities (NLEAP GIS 4.2) and a Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) application can be used to assess how best management practices reduce the losses of reactive nitrogen, and potential trading of these savings in air and water quality markets.

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Nitrogen Loss and Environmental Assessment Package (NLEAP) GIS 5.0

The new NLEAP GIS 5.0 can help users identify hot spots across the landscape and identify management practices that can increase Nitrogen use efficiency using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) layers and interfaces. A Nitrogen Trading Tool (NTT) analysis can be conducted to determine the potential benefits of implementing best management practices and the quantity of nitrogen savings that could potentially be traded in future air or water quality markets.

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NOAA Digital Coast Services Center

A collection of tools and data applicable to costal management focusing on climate adaptation, coastal conservation, coastal economies, coastal hazards, community resilience, land use planning, ocean planning, and water quality.

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North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR)

The North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) is a regional reanalysis of North America containing temperatures, winds, moisture, soil data, and dozens of other parameters.

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RUSLE2 was developed primarily to guide conservation planning, inventory erosion rates and estimate sediment delivery. Values computed by RUSLE2 are supported by accepted scientific knowledge and technical judgment, are consistent with sound principles of conservation planning, and result in good conservation plans.

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SCAN (Soil Climate Analysis Network)

Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) provides an interactive process to identify and retrieve data from individual SCAN sites.

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SNOTEL is an automated system of snowpack and related climate sensors that conduct snow surveys for the purpose of water supply forecasting.


SSURGO (Soil Survey Geographic Database)

The SSURGO database contains information about soil as collected by the National Cooperative Soil Survey over the course of a century. The information can be displayed in tables or as maps and is available for most areas in the United States and the Territories, Commonwealths, and Island Nations served by the USDA-NRCS. The information was gathered by walking over the land and observing the soil. Many soil samples were analyzed in laboratories. The maps outline areas called map units. The map units describe soils and other components that have unique properties, interpretations, and productivity.



VegScape – Vegetative Condition Explorer provides vegetative condition at daily, weekly, and biweekly intervals.

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Watershed Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP)

The WEPP model consists of multiple applications that can estimate erosion and sediment processes on hillslopes and small watersheds, taking into account climate, land use, site disturbances, vegetation, and soil properties.

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Weather Prediction Center (WPC)

A collection of surface analysis, short rage and long range forecasts, quantitative precipitation forecasts, and more.

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